It used to be the dirty little secret of married couples who manage to stay together despite the ups and downs of life. Well, not anymore. Nowadays it seems everyone's doing it -- and talking about it.
At a recent dinner party I found myself in the middle of a gaggle of girlfriends who were having the time of their lives sucking down Chardonnay and sharing the latest neighborhood news. As the hour grew later and the wine bottles grew emptier, the conversation shifted. It started with one whispered confession and grew into a chorus of co-conspirators.
"It saved us." The ordinarily soft spoken brunette whispered to the friend beside her.
"What saved you?" someone asked.
The bobbed brunette looked as if she had just been caught in a bear trap. A panicked look crossed her face as she tried to figure out what the hell she would say. Finally, she confessed. "Marriage counseling. Marriage counseling saved us."
None of us expected what came next.
"We did it."
"We couldn't even look at each other when we started."
"I dragged him there."
"It saved our marriage too."
Out of the 12 women in the room, nine admitted that they too had been in couples therapy. Many of them had never discussed it with this particular circle of neighborhood friends, but it seems there's something to the old saying, strength in numbers ... and Chardonnay. Now while everyone was surprised by the admissions, none of us were shocked. As parents of elementary school kids, we had all been through the marital battlefield several times and emerged with a few battle scars -- but for the most part, our marriages intact.
The statistics are staggering and scary -- we all know that about half of all American marriages end in divorce but listen to this one ... Marriage Counselor, Dr. Robert Huizenga suggests that 40% of women and 60% of men at some point will indulge in extramarital affairs. Put those stats together and Dr. Huizenga says that an estimated 80% of marriages will have a cheating spouse.
So with the odds stacked against us -- it felt great to be surrounded by a group of women who decided to take action -- to fight back against the statistics and fight for their marriages.
Think of it this way -- at this point in our lives it's all about maintenance -- our bodies, our skin -- our looks. Don't our marriages deserve the same attention and care as well?